The Internet2 initiative on May 11 announced that Louis Fox of the University of Washington and Bill Mitchell of the University of Missouri will lead the group’s effort to extend advanced internet capabilities to the broader education community, including elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, museums, and libraries.

This effort will build on state-based networks’ access to Abilene, a high-speed Internet2 backbone. Fox and Mitchell will continue to serve their respective institutions in their current roles.

“Access to a nationwide high-performance network is a first step,” said Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of Internet2. “Our interest lies also in exploring ways to leverage the unique and powerful possibilities advanced networking holds for all of education, and Bill and Louis will provide energy and expertise to make this happen.”

Fox is the vice provost for educational partnerships and learning technologies at the University of Washington. He leads UW’s efforts to meet the educational needs of the region through collaboration with K-12 school districts, community colleges, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Mitchell is the associate vice president for telecommunications at the University of Missouri and executive director of MOREnet, the Missouri Research and Education Network. He led the effort to create MOREnet, which provides internet connectivity, training, and technical support to more than 1,100 sites, including the state’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and government agencies.

Led by more than 180 universities working with industry and government, the Internet2 initiative is working to develop advanced network applications and technologies to enhance research and education. The group has extended Internet2 services to K-12 schools in five states–Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington–with more on the way, officials said.